Avoid sore chest muscles with your 4-step guide.
When I was a kid, the TV cops that ruled our airwaves included such sleuths as Kojak and Columbo. Want a mystery solving? It seemed there was no dastardly deed beyond their crime fighting abilities.
So how can two 70s cops help you?
If you want to avoid sore chest muscles and beat chest muscle pain, you must turn detective.
Photo courtesy of nurse_marbles
1. Find the right exercise for YOU.
No single exercise fits everybody. Since we are all genetically different, with our own individual and unique physical makeups, it stands to reason that certain exercises will suit some trainees in preference to others.
An example: just because your training partner can perform the dip exercise without a twinge in their chest or shoulders, doesn't necessarily mean this proven chest builder is right for you. Perhaps the barbell bench press is a better fit for your requirements, or weighted press-ups from the floor? This is why turning exercise detective is so important if you want to continue training injury-free.
Which brings us to...
2. If it hurts, STOP.
The severe type of sore chest muscles which heralds injury, can easily be avoided by practicing common sense. If an exercise 'feels wrong', or causes you pain while performing it, there is very little chance your body will condition itself to the unfavorable exercise. More likely, you will encounter pulled chest muscles, or a chest muscle strain, or a pectorals tear - and once this happens, the road to recovery is a frustrating one.
Instead, practice some injury prevention and LISTEN to your body. Just as you turned detective in finding the right exercise for you, then similarly REJECT those exercises, or strength training protocols, which might be harming you. The trick to successful training is consistency, and you will never earn your dues under a barbell if you are injured.
Prevention really is better than cure, so be sure to arm yourself against those practices that might cause you pain.
3. STRETCH your way to stronger chest muscles.
Many trainees mistakenly believe stretching is only useful in rehabilitation when the very opposite is true. Indeed, a stretching program performed after a workout can do much to prevent chest muscle pain. What kinds of stretches for chest muscles should you adopt into your fitness schedule?
An excellent beginner stretching program would involve a series of stretches held to a point of comfortable tension for a count of 10-20 seconds. For an excellent chest stretch exercise you can try right now, find a doorway, and reaching up for the top of the frame, lean forwards while you pull down. If performed correctly, you should feel a stretch in your arms, shoulders, back and chest. Hold this position for a count of 20 seconds, breathe out, then repeat.
Since flexibility is a crucial component of fitness, it is important you practice it.
4. Put some RICE in your diet.
What happens when you are injured? Which measures should you take to put you back onto the road to recovery? First, cease all training. Why? More harm can be caused by attempting to exercise around a problem area leading to further possible injury. Instead, allow your body to utilize its recovery abilities by repairing itself - a process which will be hampered if you continue to exercise.
Here is a self-help example: a pectoral muscle strain or pulled chest muscle, would typically respond to injury rehab in the form of RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) followed by avoiding lifting and carrying heavy objects with elbows out. These self-help measures would continue in your training, as you resume exercising your chest with push-ups, or press-ups. Start with your hands at shoulder width; later, as your condition improves, move your hands wider apart.
These self-help measures will encourage rehabilitation and recovery without hurting you.